5 ways Obama is trying to sell the Iran nuclear deal

  • 1: The administration succeeded in its chief goal

    "I can say with confidence - but more importantly - nuclear experts can say with confidence that Iran will not be in a position to develop a nuclear bomb. We will have met our number one priority," Mr. Obama said at the press conference Wednesday.

    Many critics of the deal said that the U.S. should have used its leverage to force Iran to stop sponsoring terror groups like Hezbollah and to release Americans it is holding, like Washington Post reporter Jason Rezian.

    Throughout the negotiations, Mr. Obama has repeated that the U.S. negotiations over Iran's nuclear program do not mean the end of other problems with the Iranian regime. He reaffirmed Wednesday that America will not drop its sanctions related to Iran's sponsoring of terrorism, human rights violations or its ballistic missile program. But he argued Wednesday that stopping the entire deal over those issues "defies logic."

    "It makes no sense and it loses sight of what was our original number one priority, which is making sure that they don't have a bomb," he said.

    In a contentious debate with CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, Mr. Obama also argued that it would have made the U.S. weaker to tie together the nuclear negotiations with imprisoned Americans.

    "Suddenly, Iran realizes, you know what, maybe we can get additional concessions out of the Americans by holding these individuals. It makes it much more difficult for us to walk away if Iran somehow thinks that a nuclear deal is dependent in some fashion on the nuclear deal," the president said. "And, by the way, if we had walked away from the nuclear deal, we'd still be pushing them just as hard to get these folks out. That's why those issues are not connected."

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for